Barclays Rethinks Closing Pension Scheme after Workers Protest

August 6, 2009 ( - Barclays now says it is considering enhancing its pension fund following a furious reaction from staff about the announcement the scheme would be closed to plug a £3.5bn gap.

The Guardian reports that chairman Marcus Agius responded to a question at a shareholder meeting by admitting that the bank was looking at “what enhancements we can make” to the offer being made to members of the final-salary scheme. One shareholder suggested putting directors’ bonuses into the fund instead.

Shareholders walked past noisy protesters from the union Unite to enter the meeting, according to the news report. The meeting was called to ratify the sale of the bank’s fund management arm, Barclays Global Investors, to BlackRock (see BlackRock/Barclays Deal for BGI Formally Accepted ).

In June, Barclays announced plans to close its scheme for British staff in favor of a cheaper arrangement (see IBM Considering Closure of UK Pension Scheme ).